WHAT THEY HAD

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“The best thing about Chomko’s occasionally awkward Alzheimer’s drama is that it gives Robert Forster his meatiest role in ages, and it was a stroke of genius casting the rough-edged Shannon as his son. These two are seemingly incapable of false moments onscreen and have similarly hardened hides. This family really knows how to bust each other’s chops.” – North Shore Movies, 12/05/2018

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SHOPLIFTERS

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“Hirokazu Kore-eda’s Shoplifters sneaks up on you. It starts out as a low-key charmer akin to the filmmaker’s Still Walking or After The Storm, but then about an hour into this placid portrait things begin to unravel, undercutting the audience’s assumptions and steadily accumulating great weight and moral severity. By the time it ended I was a wreck.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 11/30/2018

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WONDER BOYS AT THE COOLIDGE

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“Paramount took the costly and fairly unprecedented step of re-releasing it with an overhauled promotional campaign, to little avail. Yet it’s somehow fitting that Wonder Boys managed to flop twice, as the movie is practically a valentine to failure. This is a warmly humane and often side-splittingly funny exploration of underperforming against expectations.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 11/27/2018

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SPOILERPIECE THEATRE #228: FIRST REFORMED, OUTLAW KING, BJFF HIGHLIGHTS AND CREED II

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Had a wonderful time as always sitting in with friends Kris Jenson and Evan Crean to discuss Chris Pine’s full frontal Netflix epic, some highlights from the Boston Jewish Film Festival, a disappointing new sequel that probably just should have been called Rocky VIII and Evan’s unexpected reaction to finally seeing First Reformed. – Spoilerpiece Theatre, 11/24/2018

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THE OTHER SIDE OF THE WIND

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“Orson Welles’ long-mythologized pet project, shot over a period of several years in the early 1970s, is an astonishment even wilder and more rewardingly confounding than its fabled reputation. Prickly, perverse and almost half a century later still way ahead of its time, I watched this movie twice the day it premiered and haven’t shut up about it since.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 11/23/2018

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AT ETERNITY’S GATE

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“It took me longer than I should probably admit to figure out that the manic camera movements are meant to mimic Van Gogh’s rapid brushstrokes, and the repeated words an aural stand-in for the artist’s layered overpainting. So basically Schnabel’s trying to make a movie about Vincent Van Gogh in the style of Vincent Van Gogh, which is pretty neat.” – WBUR’s The ARTery, 11/21/2018

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CREED II

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“Pretty much the movie everyone was afraid Creed was going to be. A few fine character beats drift into stale, over-familiar formulas and fawning fan service. Well-acted enough that I couldn’t hate it, but it’s all so purposefully secondhand, deliberately designed to remind you of previous installments you loved without going anywhere exciting or new.” – North Shore Movies, 11/20/2018

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